Most of Kentucky has a low risk of Covid-19 infection, but the number of counties at high and medium risk increased last week

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

The risk of Covid-19 transmission increased just a bit in Kentucky last week, with the latest federal risk map showing 30 counties at either high or medium risk, up from 17 on the prior week’s map.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention map, which looks at both cases and hospital data to determine risk, shows four Kentucky counties at high risk, shown in orange; 26 at medium risk, shown in yellow; and 94 counties at low risk, shown in green.

Counties at high risk are Magoffin, Johnson, Floyd and Letcher. Last week, only Letcher was.

In high-risk counties, the CDC continues to recommend that you wear a well-fitting mask in public indoor spaces, and if you are at high risk of getting very sick, consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed.

If you live in a medium or high-risk county, the CDC advises those who are at high risk of getting very sick to wear a well-fitting mask when indoors and in public and to consider getting tested before having social contact with someone at high risk for getting very sick and consider wearing a mask when indoors when you are with them.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention map

The CDC also has a transmission-level map that shows the level of virus spread in each county, at one of four levels. The map shows Fulton, Hickman and Webster counties with low levels of transmission and 40 counties with moderate levels. The rest have either substantial or high levels of transmission. This data is largely used by researchers and health-care facilities.

State health officials have encouraged Kentuckians to use the other CDC map to guide their preventive measures.

The New York Times ranks Kentucky’s infection rate ninth among states, with a 10% drop in cases in the last two weeks.

At his weekly news conference, Gov. Andy Beshear celebrated the prior week’s risk map that showed only one high-risk county and noted that this is the seventh straight week of decreasing cases. He also  encouraged Kentuckians to get boosted before the holidays, noting that the new updated booster shot will protect you against the Omicron variants that are circulating now as well as the new strains that are beginning to take hold in the U.S.

“People get out there and get your booster, especially before Thanksgiving,” he said. “You’re gonna get together [and] we never want the holidays to make people sick.”

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